The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, January 18, 2004  

Carpenters’ Weddings

I’m not a big fan of bloggers’ posts of the “what I’m listening to” genre, but lately I all too often have been playing Interpretations: The Carpenters, A 25th Anniversary Celebration, much to the consternation I suspect, and hope, of the girls upstairs.

It’s a collection that takes me back -- way back -- to, of all things, weddings in the 1970s.

We all go through that phase of our lives characterized by, among other things but seemingly by little else, wedding after wedding, that certain summer or two or three or more during which we spend more time at Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffany than we do at the beach, in the mountains, or cleaning our apartments.

My Carpenters/Wedding Reception memories predate those years. In the ’70s I was, after all, as young as eight and no older than 17 years old. Not exactly one’s peak gift-giving years. Still, I remember the music, and the music I remember, with painful frequency, comes from The Carpenters, more specifically, “Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

Gee whiz, you know, by like, what, 1975 you were ready to kill any DJ, MC, wedding planner, bride, or groom who played either one of those otherwise respectable songs. I even remember one wedding, I think I was all of 12 at the time, at which I was completely prepared to commit hari kari on any and everyone at this otherwise tasteful and entertaining reception on the waterfront in The Bronx.

I’m glad all of that’s over. Now I can just listen to the CD in peace. Except, of course, for those painful memories.

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